First Test Match

AUSTRALIA v PAKISTAN

At 4.30 pm on the fifth and last day, Australia, with seven wickets in hand and only 77 runs needed for victory, appeared to have gained a decisive hold over an entertaining Test of changing fortunes. But then the vastly experienced Sarfraz Nawaz took charge and the match was at an end within an hour - or 65 balls and 5 runs later. Sarfraz's personal contribution of seven wickets for 1 run from 33 deliveries represented one of the greatest bowling feats in the history of Test cricket.

On the opening morning, Yallop took advantage of winning his sixth toss in the seventh Test of the summer and so gave his pace battery the opportunity to use what little early life existed in the wicket. Both openers, Majid and Mohsin, were caught as they attempted to drive - Majid by the wicket-keeper and Mohsin in the slips - and when Zaheer was bowled at 28, Hogg had completed a fiery opening spell of six overs with three wickets for a personal cost of only nine runs. The recalled Clark then removed Asif Iqbal with a sharp, lifting delivery that carried from glove to Wright and only 40 runs were on the board. The captain, Mushtaq, set about a recovery and he received solid support from Imran and Sarfraz. Although earlier erratic, Hurst later played his part with three wickets when it appeared Australia had let their advantage slip from six wickets for 99 to the eventual Pakistan total of 196.

Australia, one for no wicket at the close and having included an additional batsman, appeared set for a big score. However, next morning, a between-wickets collision between openers Wood and Hilditch forced the former to retire with a sprained wrist and he did not return till the fall of the ninth wicket. Hilditch was quickly removed by Imran, and Yallop was twice dropped as he struggled to 20 in a brief partnership with Border. Both were bowled by Imran. Hughes became the eleventh Australian run out in the season's Test matches when Whatmore did not respond to a call. Nevertheless, the burly new Test batsman applied himself well for nearly three and a half hours to top score with 43 in a poor total that fell 28 runs short of Pakistan's. Hogg displayed his annoyance and livened proceedings by knocking down the stumps with his bat when he was given run out after walking from his crease before the ball was dead. Although Hogg was recalled by the Pakistan captain, umpire Harvey refused to permit a reversal of the decision.

Pakistan used the third day to consolidate their position with aggressive batting. Mohsin cover-drove and hooked Hogg for boundaries before another fierce drive was brilliantly held by the bowler - his first catch in Test cricket. Majid and Zaheer then played glorious strokes all round the ground as they added 135 for the second wicket, taking particular toll of the new legspinner, Sleep. Starting the day with a delightful straight driven boundary off Hogg, Majid altogether hit sixteen 4s in his seventh Test century - 108 in three hours forty minutes. Zaheer's similarly positive approach was followed by Asif once he settled down, and Pakistan were 307 runs ahead when bad light stopped play twenty minutes early.

After rain delayed the resumption on the fourth day for an hour, Pakistan added a further 74 runs before declaring. Whatmore substituting for Wood as opener, batted solidly for eighty minutes and shared a partnership of 49 with Hilditch, who - although dropped at 26 and 59 - batted steadfastly until he became Sarfraz's second victim of the innings. At the close, Australia, at 117 for two, needed 265 to win.

Within half an hour on the final morning, Yallop was foolishly run out, changing his call. This brought together Border and Hughes for a new Australia - Pakistan Tests fourth-wicket partnership which eclipsed by 2 runs the 175 of Ian Chappell and Ross Edwards in 1972-73. Combining concentration with tempered aggression, and unruffled by several dropped catches, the pair carried on steadily through the second new ball and until half an hour after tea, when Sarfraz bowled Border off a deflection with a beautiful ball that cut back sharply. Border batted six and a quarter hours and hit seven boundaries in an innings notable for his footwork.

The remainder of the innings is history. The injured Wood jabbed a catch to the wicket keeper off the first ball, Sleep was yorked without scoring, and Hughes - attempting to resume the run-getting - lofted a catch to mid-off. Sarfraz then removed the remaining three batsmen without scoring to complete the dismissal of all wickets except Yallop (run out) and finish with nine wickets for 86. His match figures of eleven wickets for 125 comfortably won him the Man of the Match award. The aggregate match attendance was 37,495.

© John Wisden & Co